"Hey, did you know Pam died?"
"That's my Mom's name!"
"Yeah, it was your Mom."
"That's no way to tell someone her Mom died!"
That was my dream just before I woke up today. People found out when the fact was tossed out casually, even to her daughter. What a horrible way to find something like that out.
And yet, we treat people almost this badly. We have a problem with their church, their spouse, their kid or parent, their boss, their attitude, their clothes, whatever. And we casually toss that around with total disregard of how it might feel to them.
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
We "love" to quote this passage, or parts of it, in ooey-gooey, romantic ways, or when defending something precious to us. But love also rejoices with the truth and the truth is that this is not a passage about romance (although it can apply), and that it is universal.
So before we open our mouths, not just to complain, but even to speak truth, let's make sure the truth we speak is truly in love-- that it's kind, honoring, strengthening others rather than tearing them down, protecting, spoken in a way to bring hope, to encourage.
Otherwise, no matter what you say, no matter how "true" it is, it's just trash can lids banging together, tapping out dismal news in Morse code. Nobody wants to hear that.
Bible verses from the NIV.